A vote in the National Assembly rejected a proposal for same-sex marriage by 293 votes to 222.

"/> A vote in the National Assembly rejected a proposal for same-sex marriage by 293 votes to 222.

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France still not ready for gay marriage

A vote in the National Assembly rejected a proposal for same-sex marriage by 293 votes to 222.

France still not ready for gay marriage

The decision did not come as a surprise in France where opposition to full marriage rights for same sex couples remains high.


The proposal was put forward by the Socialist Party but strongly opposed by the governing UMP party. 


Michel Diefenbacher, an MP with the UMP, claimed that those voting against “did not want to blow with the wind or give in to fashion. We are against homophobia but we are not in favour of changing our understanding of the function of marriage.”


Others went further in their attacks. The leader of the right-wing Front National, Marine Le Pen, asked in an interview with France Inter “why not legalise polygamy?” Christian Vanneste from the UMP declared that same sex marriage is an “anthropological aberration”. 


Nine UMP MPs voted for the proposal, including former minister and possible Presidential contender Jean-Louis Borloo. Speaking to Europe 1, he said he was “in favour of equality for everyone.”


France created an equivalent of a civil union for same sex couples in November 1999. The PACS (pacte civil de solidarité), which is open to heterosexual and gay couples, offers legal recognition of a partnership but stops short of giving the same rights as marriage.

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Paris fined €90k for having ‘too many women in charge’

Paris city authorities have been fined for employing too many women in senior positions, a decision mocked as 'absurd' by mayor Anne Hidalgo on Tuesday.

Paris fined €90k for having 'too many women in charge'
Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo says she will deliver the fine for being 'too feminist' in person. Photo: AFP

The fine of €90,000 was demanded by France's public service ministry on the grounds that Paris city hall had broken national rules on gender parity in its 2018 staffing.

“I am happy to announce that we have been fined,” Hidalgo told a city council meeting, adding she had been filled with “joy” when she learned of the penalty.

Hidalgo said she was faulted because 11 women and only five men were named to management positions in city hall in 2018, meaning that 69 percent of the appointments went to women.

“The management of the city hall has, all of a sudden, become far too feminist,” laughed the Socialist, who was re-elected for a new term at the helm of Paris last year.

According to the text of the ruling cited by Le Monde daily, city hall violated a rule dating to 2013, which stipulates that one sex should not account for more than 60 of nominations to management positions.

Hidalgo said that she would take the cheque for the fine to the government in person, along with her deputy mayors and all the women working for her.

Taking a more serious tone, she added: “This fine is obviously absurd, unfair, irresponsible and dangerous”, adding that women in France should be promoted with “vigour because the lag everywhere in France is still very great”.

“Yes, to one day achieve parity, we must speed up the tempo and ensure that more women are appointed than men,” she said.

Responding on Twitter, France's Public Service Minister Amelie de Montchalin from the ruling TREM party acknowledged that the fine had been levied for 2018.

Since then the “absurd” rule on parity in management had been repealed, she noted.

“I want the fine paid by Paris for 2018 to finance concrete actions to promote women in the public service. I invite you to the ministry to discuss them!,” she said in a message to Hidalgo.